Solar Reflective Additives for Pavement Mixture Design

Funding/Research Support:

Seed, Bridge, Multi-disciplinary Research Funding Program

Project Overview:

The construction of roads has significant impacts on the local and global environment. Through deforestation and interference with watersheds and ecosystems, these actives are exploiting and altering the local climate, and contribute to climate change. The effects of these activities, such as temperature changes and extreme heat, have been confirmed by many highly reputable scientific bodies across the world, and Canada is not immune to their effects. For example, Climate Change Canada – a federal agency recently reported that, Toronto will experience a number of days per year where the temperature exceeds 30°C by the latter half of this century, more than four times the historic average between 1961 and 1990. Beyond these effects, one of the most obvious effects of construction on the local climate can be seen in a phenomenon known as the heat island effect (HEI). Studies on it have reported  a greater temperature contrast due to extensive hardscape network in urban areas in comparison with rural surroundings. These facts are of critical concern, and improvements must be made into the built environment itself before these problems can be tackled. The primary objective of this research is to conduct a preliminary investigation to evaluate an alternative method to help reduce urban air temperature in Canadian cities, by including solar reflective additives (SRA) in asphalt pavement mixture design. This research consists of two phases. The proposed research covers the first phase. At the completion of this phase, this research will develop a clear picture of the performance of various SRA at the asphalt mortar-scale for Canadian pavement and weather conditions. The results from this phase will be the basis for developing a subsequent large-scale research project through collaboration among established business organizations, entrepreneurs, and federal government agencies (e.g., Atlantic Innovation Fund program).